PRESS RELEASE: Geotate and SiGe Semiconductor Partner to Create Low-Cost Geotagging Solution for Digital Camera Market
Bringing photo geotagging functionality to mass-market, low-cost digital cameras
PHOTOKINA, COLOGNE, GERMANY, OTTAWA, CANADA and ANDOVER, U.S. - 23 September 2008 – Geotate, a pioneering auto-geotagging company, and SiGe Semiconductor have announced a Technology Partner Alliance to create a global positioning system (GPS) solution to bring photo geotagging to low-cost, mass-market digital cameras. With geotagging, camera users can automatically add geographical identification to their photos using GPS data. The collaboration initially combines Geotate’s unique Yuma and Kato geotagging software with SiGe’s award winning front end SE4120 GPS radio chip.
Both companies have developed their technologies to quickly access and process a GPS signal with a small hardware footprint and using minimal power – important performance concerns when integrating GPS into cameras and other mobile devices. These attributes, combined with a low BOM will bring GPS functionality to a price point that will allow it to be integrated into the most competitively priced cameras. Previously, GPS functionality has been viewed as cost-prohibitive for these low-tier systems.
SiGe Semiconductor's SE4120 - a winner of the EDN Innovation Award, is a highly-integrated GPS receiver IC that was specifically designed for high-accuracy navigation in portable devices. "SiGe Semiconductor is committed to the GPS portable design market, and we have a roadmap in place to develop more industry-leading, application specific solutions," said Alistair Manley, vice president marketing, SiGe Semiconductor. "Our partnership with Geotate is a logical next step in our commitment to bringing GPS functionality to mass-market solutions. We believe the digital camera is the next step in ubiquitous consumer use of GPS. Together, we intend to competitively drive the cost of ownership to a point which will enable camera makers to adopt this solution and aggressively compete in the portable electronics market." SiGe Semiconductor also plans to release the next generation device in the GPS receiver family in 2009, which will be targeted to increased functionality, higher integration and system specific features to support the future Geotate developments and still maintain a price curve expected of the consumer industry.
“This partnership provides an opportunity for the 150 million consumer cameras sold each year to automatically geotag images,” commented Geotate vice president sales and marketing Mark Terry. “While there is a growing body of evidence that geotagging solution will help differentiate mainstream digital camera devices and accelerate sales, the cost of this solution raises the possibility that geotagging can become more than this. It is technology at a price point that could change the fundamental dynamics of the industry. It creates a business case for enterprising companies able to take advantage of online opportunities and it begins to connect device manufacturers to the 200 billion pictures taken each year.”
A unique feature of the Geotate software is that latitude and longitude data is added when images are downloaded to a PC that is connected to the Internet. This provides device manufacturers with the opportunity to offer value-added features and services, thereby expanding their revenue opportunities in the marketplace.
The combined Geotate/SiGe Semiconductor solution will be available in Q4 2008, priced at approximately $5 for a complete BoM in volume. For more information, visit www.geotate.com.
Geotate provides auto geotagging software to camera makers and the digital imaging industry. Geotate’s products overcome the issues associated with traditional GPS solutions: ‘crank’ time, universal location estimates and cost. Geotate is a recent spin-out from Philips with offices in Tokyo, Taipei, London and Eindhoven.
About SiGe Semiconductor
SiGe Semiconductor is a leading global supplier of the products that are enabling wireless multimedia in a wide variety of computing, entertainment and mobile systems. Our innovative radio frequency integrated circuits and multi-chip modules simplify the addition of mobile broadband access and location-based capabilities to consumer electronics. SiGe products are designed specifically for these applications, providing the un-equalled performance that is necessary for high-quality, user-focused applications on the go. Offering exceptional performance, our products comply with Wi-Fi®, WiMAX™, and GPS technology standards. We deliver solutions designed for the end system application, enabling ease of integration and reduced time to market. SiGe operates worldwide, servicing leading consumer electronics OEMs and ODMs from five key sites as well as through an extensive global distribution network. More information can be found at http://www.sige.com
(First posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 18:10 EDT)